Newham

Secretary of State seal of approval for Newham Shared Lives scheme

27 July 2015 in Council and democracy
The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, has given his seal of approval to a Newham Council scheme providing a network of carers offering accommodation and support to vulnerable people and their families.
He recently visited the council’s Shared Lives scheme, which helps people with mental and physical health problems or learning disabilities live as independently as possible.

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, has given his seal of approval to a Newham Council scheme providing a network of carers offering accommodation and support to vulnerable people and their families.

During his visit he met staff, carers and people supported through the scheme together with Councillor Joy Laguda, mayoral advisor for adults safeguarding.

Under the programme vulnerable people are matched to one of 45 specially trained Shared Lives carers across the borough. They are provided with support by staying in the home of their Shared Lives carer as part of their family.

These placements can be for one night or up to several weeks - enabling the person and their usual carers to have a break. However, they can also stay for longer periods of time.

The Newham scheme is one of a number across the country that have been supported by the government’s Carers Social Action Fund designed to help projects supporting vulnerable people.

The Health Secretary’s visit follows on from the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson’s visit last month, who also praised the work of the scheme.

Jeremy Hunt MP said: “Newham’s Shared Lives scheme is an excellent example of how councils, communities and other organisations can work together to support some of the most vulnerable in society.

“The dedication of the Shared Lives carer I met and the difference the scheme makes to all those involved is truly inspirational – so I’d like to pass on my thanks to all involved.”

Councillor Laguda said: “Giving people the ability to live as independently as possible massively helps enhance the quality of their life. Obviously some people need more help than others and in order to achieve this, schemes like Share Lives play a vital role.

“Our scheme has been running for seven years and we are proud of its success. All the evidence shows it is enriching and rewarding for all of those involved.

“I am delighted that the commitment of the Shared Lives carers, the impact the scheme has on those it supports and the overall work of the scheme has been recognised by the Health Secretary.”

Anyone with a spare room, who wants to share their lives with someone who needs extra support can apply to become a Shared Lives carer. Potential carers do not need experience or qualifications as full training is provided.

Anyone wanting to find out more about the scheme or is interested in becoming a Shared Lives carer should visit www.newham.gov.uk/sharedlives